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Expert Advice on Pool and Spa Inspections: An Interview with Justin Joseph of Dallas Professional Home Inspections PLLC

By Justin Joseph

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

I have been an active remodeler and handyman in Dallas for more than twenty years. In recent years, I became aware of the need for experienced inspectors to review and verify the quality of new construction. These same skills are needed to inspect homes for sale, to protect buyers from much of the risk that homebuying offers. A skilled professional home inspector with a strong construction background is the home buyer's best friend. Our business is based on providing a broad base of inspection expertise including general home inspection, mechanical systems, roof, pool and foundation inspections.

Can you briefly describe what pool and spa inspections cover/test?

The Texas Real Estate Commission regulates the home inspection profession in Texas. The standards of practice of the commission and the national home inspector associations all offer a set of standards for pool and spa inspections. A proper inspection is based on a visual evaluation of the pool shell, tile, coping, deck, expansion joints, skimmers, drains and underwater lights, plus visible electrical bonding, above-ground plumbing, motors, pumps, valves, filters, and heaters.

Most inspections are conducted with the pool in the normal circulate mode with only electrical controls used to operate the spa, waterfall, lights and other features. Manually operated valves are not operated. A safety inspection of the fencing, gates, safety equipment and pool access are also included. Remote control systems are normally excluded from pool inspections.

What are some of the most common issues that you've seen in pools and spas?

The most common problems found with pools and spas is a general lack of proper maintenance. This includes loose or missing tile, deterioration of the pool plaster, damaged skimmers, burnt-out underwater lighting, cracks and other damage to decks, and separations at expansion joints. Other more extensive issues include settlement of the deck, pool upheaval or differential settlement, and damaged equipment.

What is the benefit of getting a pool and/or spa inspection, and when do people usually have them done?

The benefit of a thorough pool inspection is that the inspection can identify potential problems before they become expensive repairs. For example, undetected leaks and improper bonding of pool equipment can lead to significant damage and threats to life safety. Most pool owners that maintain their own pools have learned to perform their own inspections. Those who use a pool service generally rely on the "pool guy" to keep an eye on the pool. The most important time for a pool inspection is when a home is being purchased. A good inspection costs very little and is available from home inspectors like ourselves that have undertaken the training to become certified pool inspectors. We offer pool and spa inspections as an additional service to our clients.

What are the least expensive and most expensive pool and spa repairs?

Maintaining a pool is an ongoing expense. Pools require regular cleaning, chemicals and water tests. Minor repairs are typically cosmetic in nature and include repairs to tile, expansion joints and exposed plastic parts of slides, handrails and skimmers. Major repairs often start as minor problems that were not dealt with in a timely manner. These include pool settlement or upheaval, cracks in the pool wall, underwater leaks and heater, filter and/or pump replacement.

Do you have any tips to help homeowners keep their pools/spas up and running?

Learn how your pool operates. Understand the purpose of each piece of equipment and valve. Learn about proper chemical balance. Perform regular visual inspections of your pool and equipment to spot minor problems early. Remember that a pool can cost as much as a fine automobile. Protect your investment and enjoy a sparkling clean and safe pool environment.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

We are available seven days a week from 8a.m. to 8p.m. to schedule home inspections, with or without a pool. We also offer comprehensive energy audits with professional infrared imaging and foundation elevation surveys. For most information about Dallas Professional Home Inspections PLLC, visit our website at www.dallasinspectionspllc.com or call 972-897-6371.

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About The Author

Justin Joseph is a Texas Real Estate Commission Professional Home Inspector and a...

Phone: 972-897-6371

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